Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Taste Of Freedom

No drives, no compulsions No needs, no attractions Then your affairs Are under control You are a free person.

Chuang Tzu, the Chinese writer and Philosopher, wrote those words over 2,300 years ago. The concept that less is more is now age thought at its finest. Just the idea that we could live freely without feeling the pressure of modern life is a goal worth achieving. Freedom is about unrestricted liberty and personal rights. But, society has tweaked our belief structure. Society, the mass group of individualized consciousness that physically lives to pursue happiness and abundance, has created a distorted image of freedom, and every member senses it in one way or another.

Our freedom is attached to an anchor filled with heavyweight restrictions. Freedom is a right as long as we conform to the rules that society enacts and enforces. Those rules express freedom in a way that enhances separation. In terms of moral behavior and political equality, freedom is a fragile commodity. The true freedom that Chuang Tzu describes has nothing to do with laws and regulations. It has everything to do with self-responsibility.

Chuang Tzu’s words are so foreign to our thinking that they’re hard to understand. He wrote about freedom this way:

Therefore, the truly great man, although he does not injure others, does not credit himself with charity and mercy. He seeks not gain, but does not despise his followers who do. He struggles not for wealth, but does not take credit for letting it alone. He asks help from no man, but takes no credit for his self-reliance; neither does he despise those who seek preferment through friends. He acts differently from the vulgar crowd, but takes no credit for his exceptionality. When others act with the majority he does not despise them as hypocrites. The ranks and emoluments of the world are to him no cause for joy; its punishments and shame no cause for disgrace. He knows that positive and negative cannot be distinguished.

We are educated to push and fight in order to get the freedom we want. Our beliefs tell us that if we let our affairs take care of themselves we would have nothing but chaos and wars. We would sink in the quicksand of bedlam, and the world as we know it would crumble from our complacency. Those beliefs create the freedom we experience.

We are victims of our beliefs. We live in a world of synthetic freedom, and it is fueled by conformity, control, righteousness, and power. Our personal worth and freedom are measured by our ability to believe in that social structure. That social structure is based on partials truths, and If we don’t believe those partial truths we are off balance outcasts that have a distorted and confused sense of reality.

Chuang Tzu put it this way:

Granting that you and I argue. If you beat me, and not I you, are you necessarily right and I wrong? Or if I beat you and not you me, am I necessarily right and you wrong? Or are we both partly right and partly wrong? Or are we both wholly right or wholly wrong? You and I cannot know this, and consequently the world will be in ignorance of the truth.

Who shall I employ as arbiter between us? If I employ some one who takes your view, he will side with you. How can such a one arbitrate between us? If I employ some one who takes my view, he will side with me. How can such a one arbitrate between us? And if I employ some one who either differs from or agrees with both of us, he will be equally unable to decide between us

Chuang Tzu was one of those outcasts. He didn’t believe in conforming control. He believed in individual freedom based on bliss and self-responsibility. The road to this sort of freedom starts with understanding how our belief structure creates our reality.

Joseph Campbell said:

Follow your bliss and you will discover freedom.

Bliss is a mental state where all positive desires are manifested. Bliss means tasting another quality of our free consciousness, which leaves nothing undone, and does everything freely. We can call those creations effortless effort― compliments of our spontaneous consciousness.

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